Software can take the form of a centralized database, distributed application or can be a collection of simple utilities, which might be shared on a computer with in the domain. Similarly hardware can be a printer or a centralized storage device. LAN offers the fastest data transfer rate up to 10 Mbps.
Stair & Reynolds (2001) suggest that usually, LAN is wired into office buildings, factories, school buildings, etc and are built around personal computers (PC). When a PC is connected to a LAN, a network interface card (NIC) is required which is placed in a computer's expansion slot to allow it to communicate with the network. A wire or connector from the network is then plugged directly into NIC. (Stair & Reynolds, 2001, p. 138)
In order to install and configure a LAN setup in a school, the topology should have to be selected. Out of the three topologies, i.e. ring, bus and star, star topology is the most feasible one, as due to the failure of a computer or a segment of wire or a node, the other network nodes would not be affected at all. For star topology the basic hardware required for connectivity are as follows:
For a smaller LAN with a maximum of 10 computers Hub works fine but for a larger LAN a switch gives better efficiency compared to a hub. The reason is that the hub broadcast the data packet to every node, hence all other nodes except the destination node thereby ignoring the broadcasted data packet where as the switch store the MAC addresses of each node and would send the data packet only to the destination node.
UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable: This type of cable is the most feasible one as it is cheaper and it gives a data rate of 10 Mbps.
Further more in a larger LAN setup, if the distance between two switches or between switch and a terminal (computer) is more than 100 meters than we have to use a repeater device, which enhances the signal strength so that it can reach the destination. Hence for every 100 meters we have to use a repeater device.
Apart from these network components, all the computers, which are going to participate as a node in the network must have a LAN card. Every computer must have to be joined directly to a switch by the help of single twisted pair cable. In case of larger number of computer, then the switches should have to be connected with each other by the help of cross twisted pair cable connection.
When all the computers are physically connected with each other to form a LAN setup, then the network operating system should have to be installed and configured on every computer so that they can communicate with each other. Since a LAN must have at least one domain server so in order to make a computer to act as domain server, we have to install a server operating system like Windows 2003. After that install and configure ADS (active directory services) on that server computer. Create user accounts and register every network resource within the ADS. Further more in the ADS, privileges can be assigned individually to every user account, so that when a user logins from a client computer, he can access only the allowed resources. For rest of the client computers, we have to